Category Archives: touring bike
Rivendell Hillborne Country Bike
Rivendell Hillborne Country Bike

The Samuel Hillborne is Rivendell’s self-proclaimed “Country Bike”, meaning while it’ll do just fine around town it’s best at home touring the countryside. Actually, that’s not true at all. Not that bikes need rules, or stigmas for that matter, but the Hillborne is one of the most beautiful bicycles to be included in the Rivendell lineup. A veritable “do it all” bike. Road rides? Sure. MTB singletrack? Yep. Touring? You bet. It’ll do all the above with an uncanny elegance.

So elegant that you really can’t photograph this bike in a cityscape. It needs the sunbleached, parched rolling landscape as a backdrop. Whether its Walnut Creek’s rolling hills, or in this case the terrain of Los Angeles where it currently resides.

As far as the build is concerned it’s very Riv-esque with shellac’d Nitto Albastache bars, Schwalbe Little Big Ben tires, Nitto M1 rack, the IRD quill stem shifter mount and a brand new Brooks saddle.

Built originally for a rider who later determined it was a bit too long for him (hence the short stem), this bike is now at Golden Saddle Cyclery in Silverlake, Los Angeles with a price tag of $2,200 as shown. If you ride a 58cm and want a killer deal on a like-new complete, holler at the shop. Otherwise, just ogle this Beautiful Bicycle in the Gallery.

May 10, 2015 18 comments
Mountain Bikes and Bothy Nights

This is a long one, but offers some playful views into Scotland’s bleak landscapes and the bothies they house. All self-shot and damn good, if you ask me.

May 6, 2015 4 comments
Locked and Loaded on the Niner RLT9 Steel Cyclocross Bike
My ride: Niner RLT9 Steel with everything I need for three days of self-supported camping.

Cyclocross bikes may be designed to race for 45 minutes to an hour in various conditions, but their beauty lies in their versatility. I’ve put in a lot of time on my cross bike over the years, and only a fraction of those hours were spent racing. Instead, my bike’s been on road, trail, dirt, gravel and frontage road rides. With the right gear range, which is now as simple as a cassette or a chainring swap, a cyclocross bike could very well be the only drop bar bike you’ll need.

Companies like Niner are banking on that and while they offer a few ‘cross bikes, the RLT9 Steel is their flagship steel rig. Made from oversized Reynolds 853, with a pressfit 30 bottom bracket and a sweet carbon fork, the RLT9 Steel is being marketed to the “adventure” crowd.

What better way to test a bike’s capabilities than to pull one right from the box, strap three day’s worth of camping gear on it and chase 20 people around the mountains, roads and singletrack in central California?

That’s exactly where my relationship with the RLT9 Steel began… In the San Jose airport.

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Apr 22, 2015 41 comments
The Road to Sea Otter with the Blackburn Rangers
Scout Master Robin showing how to properly execute a skid.

These days, I’m spending a lot of time riding and lugging around my DSLR. While I’d much rather do a ride with close friends and leave the camera at home, I couldn’t pass up yet another year of the Blackburn Ranger Camp. Last year’s ride / popsicle hammock experience was too good, so when Robin from Blackburn invited me along for a second time, I accepted the invitation without hesitation, only picking up on keywords: “camping, Big Basin, Redwoods, bourbon, BB guns, beach, Sea Otter, Niner bikes.”

The logistics of my past few weeks went something like this: Giro Grinduro shoot in Sierra Nevada, home for two days, back to Cali for Eroica, ride 130 miles on a 1982 7-speed crit bike, drive immediately to San Jose, arrive at airport hotel at 1am, work for 3 hours, sleep for 3 hours, cab it to the San Jose Airport, pack up my Niner RLT9 Steel cross bike with three day’s supplies, clear CF cards, and commence the herding of cats…

WARNING! This is going to make you HATE that today is Monday. 100 images await you…

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Apr 20, 2015 30 comments
Ritchey’s New Breakaway Tourer
RitcheyBreakAwayTourer-1

I can’t think of a better bike to utilize Ritchey‘s Breakaway system than a touring bike. Especially one that can run either 700c x 40mm or 27.5 x 2.1″ wheels. These new Breakaway tourers feature an integrated head tube and will be available in the fall. The pricepoint is to be determined, but expect them to be around the same as the standard Breakaway.

Apr 19, 2015 10 comments
Sub 24 Sunset Chasing
Sub24_McKinney-post-16

Lauren and I have done plenty of camping and she’s done her share of cycling around town, but we’ve never gone on a bicycle camping trip together. Yesterday morning, I was surprised to hear her ask if I wanted to get in some tent time before I headed out on the road again on Friday.

So last night, I packed up some bags, a tent, my trusty Lodge cast iron skillet and food for two meals. We headed out to the closest state park in the area: McKinney Falls. The route there is pretty easy, even loaded down with a bunch of gourmet food, wine, a hatchet and a skillet. I took it slow and coached Lauren through the climbs, we stopped for photos and tried our best to ignore the impatient rush-hour traffic zipping past. The weather looked nice, with bright blue sunny skies. It didn’t rain this go-round, but it was still quite enjoyable…

I didn’t think this mandated a whole gallery, so check out a scrolling story below.

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Apr 8, 2015 15 comments
Lighten Up
LightenUP-4

A few people have requested photos of the lighting setup on my Geekhouse Woodville tourer. My view on lighting is pretty simple: throw a big beam where you illuminate not just your bike but the road around you. The Portland Design Works Aether Demon USB light is mounting via the included seatpost clip, but I removed the ring and just attached the clip straight to the rack mount on my bike. Most all lights come with a seatpost mount. I’ve found this method to not only be more secure than a seat stay mount, but much more successful at lighting the surface of the road, increasing visibility.

This position puts the light low and to the inside of the road, assuming cars are driving on the right of the road. If I were in Australia or UK, the light would be on the reverse. The same goes for my Edelux front lamp, which is under my Wald basket.

Apr 3, 2015 26 comments
Comes with Baggage

Blackburn has been in the industry for 40 years and in that time, a lot has changed. Here’s a brief trailer for a full-length Blackburn film that’s airing at Sea Otter. Check out the flier for that below.

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Apr 2, 2015 Comments are OFF
Legor Cicli Nuiorksiti Randonneur Transcontinental
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For Legor Cicli, building bikes for his team, the Legor Cicli Squadra Corse to ride in the Transcontinental Race was as interesting as it was challenging. A massive undertaking like the Transcontinental requires a bike that’s nimble on its feet, yet is comfortable for the long days.

This is the Nuiorksiti model in the randonneuring version. The tubing is Columbus Life with a 1 1/4″ fork steerer, fillet-brazed to the fork legs and internal cable routing for the Supernova front hub. As part of an experiment, Legor coated part of the frame with copper, so it would oxidize over the 3000km trek. The frame bags were made by hand by Pinza’t and other support for his team was supplied by Satan’s Coffee CornerRight Side CoffeePedaled, Enve, Brooks and Columbus.

Check out more photos below.

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Mar 31, 2015 16 comments
Ahearne Cycles 27.5 Dirt Tourer
Ahearne Dirt Tourer

Joseph Ahearne‘s bikes, like Curtis Inglis’ bikes, have always piqued my interest. There’s something honest, yet artistic about his designs. He’s not afraid to use a 1″ threaded steerer, curvalicious racks, or yes, a kickstand (Hey, made my job easier!)

This Ahearne Cycles 27.5 dirt tourer is currently parked in Velo Cult and it’s a glimpse into the future for what’s to come from the two brands. Velo Cult loves this bike so much, that they’re going to work with Joseph to develop a 26+ and a 27.5 dirt tourer production version. It’ll have many of the same features, but be a bit simplified to bring the pricepoint down.

When a bike like this happens to be your size, you take it for a long ride around the block to photograph it… As stated, this particular model (which fits like a 58cm) is for sale at Velo Cult and a new production version is on the way. Holler at the guys if you’re interested in purchasing either.

Mar 30, 2015 22 comments